Pompey boss: I won’t criticise referee

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Referee David Coote incurred the wrath of the Fratton faithful.

Yet Pompey boss Kenny Jackett refused to join the chorus of disapproval over the Nottinghamshire match official who refused to award two penalties.

Referee David Coote is confronted by Oli Hawkins, Gareth Evans and Nathan Thompson after turning down a first-half penalty. Picture: Joe Pepler

Referee David Coote is confronted by Oli Hawkins, Gareth Evans and Nathan Thompson after turning down a first-half penalty. Picture: Joe Pepler

The Blues’ miserable 2018 continued with a 1-0 Fratton Park defeat to promotion-chasing Shrewsbury.

In the process, Coote was booed off at half-time and full-time for his role in controversial spot-kick decisions.

The first involved Shaun Whalley handling Oli Hawkins’ 31st-minute header, with replays providing a compelling argument in Pompey’s favour.

Skipper Gareth Evans was booked for his protests as furious Blues players confronted Coote, while assistant boss Joe Gallen was also given a talking to.

You have to accept the referee didn’t give it and you move on

Kenny Jackett

Then, on 90 minutes, the ball struck Shrews defender Omar Beckles on what appeared to be the arm but again no penalty was forthcoming.

Afterwards, however, Jackett refrained from firing shots in Coote’s direction.

Pompey’s boss said: ‘I always accept the referee’s decision after the game and always look at my own team.

‘If you are asking my opinion on certain incidents, I did appeal for the penalty at the time and haven’t looked at it again because there is no point. He didn’t give it and that’s it.

‘You have to accept the referee didn’t give it and you move on.

‘The players have said about the Omar Beckles incident.

‘I have got to say, I didn’t really see it to be honest with you. It was down the other end.

‘Again the situation is the referee hasn’t given it – so it wasn’t a penalty.

‘You have to look at your own team, look for the positives, there was a lot of heart there and a real high number of balls to the box.

‘But to be fair to Shrewsbury they got a very good clean sheet and the winner from a set-piece at the other end.

‘Players react to their instincts and what they see. We appealed for it and he didn’t give it. The players were slightly angry but they kept going, even down to 10 men. We had a key chance at the death and we can’t complain about that.’

James Bolton’s 21st-minute far-post finish from Whalley’s corner settled Saturday’s encounter.

Yet Shrews keeper Craig MacGillivray had to pull off excellent saves from Hawkins, Kal Naismith and substitute Brett Pitman to secure victory.

Pitman also saw an 84th-minute shot deflected on to the crossbar after he was teed up by Connor Ronan’s header.

Shrewsbury boast the second-best defensive record in the league – and Jackett felt that showed during their Fratton Park shut-out.

He added: ‘Shrewsbury are a very strong defensive unit and worked hard to get a clean sheet.

‘They got a key win and key goal from a set-piece which is ultimately frustrating for us because we had a high amount of balls into the box and didn’t use them.

‘It looks like we need so many more corners and balls into the box than the opposition to score – and that was the case on Saturday.’